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Reports Connect Islanders to ex-Oilers Coaches for Weight’s Staff

Also from Friedman: Kovalchuk, de Haan speculation; Okposo health

Kelly Buchberger #16...
I mean yeah we’re using that photo with that jersey.

Kelly Buchberger is another name under consideration to join New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight’s staff, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet’s weekly “30 Thoughts” treasure trove.

Following up on Arthur Staple of Newsday’s report that former Oiler Luke Richardson is likely to join Weight’s staff, Friedman says he’s heard Buchberger would also join. All three were teammates with the Oilers during the 1990s.

None have connections to Maine.

Since retiring as a player, Buchberger has served several roles with the Oilers, ranging from AHL coach and NHL assistant to player development lead.

Richardson, a former NHL defenseman, has been an assistant in Ottawa but primarily their AHL head coach, with considerable success there.

Elsewhere in Friedman’s rather Islanders-heavy 30 Thoughts column, he speculates on if the Detroit Red Wings would pursue Calvin de Haan, who could get caught in the Islanders expansion draft protection jam, and if the Islanders would pursue Ilya Kovalchuk, who reportedly wants to return to the NHL and fancies the New York area.

Those last two are just logical bits of speculation from Friedman -- hey, it’s summer -- but another tangentially Islanders-related note is the report that teams are asking the Minnesota Wild about former Islander malcontent Nino Niederreiter. The Swiss forward had a career high in goals but is an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent on a team pushing the salary cap.

And speaking of ex-Islanders, Friedman reports that Kyle Okposo is expected to be ready for training camp after being hospitalized for an undisclosed neurological issue.

Check the full details with lots of Subban and Ovechkin talk in the 30 Thoughts column here.